VaccinationsHib/MenC vaccine side effects

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As with all vaccines, a few babies will have side effects after the Hib/MenC vaccine, though in general these are mild and short-lived. The vast majority of babies won't have any problems at all.

Very common reactions to the Hib/MenC vaccine 

These side effects are common but also tend to be very mild and temporary. More than 1 child in 10 having the Hib/MenC vaccine have:

  • pain, redness or swelling at the site of the injection
  • fever (temperature of 38C or above)
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • sleepiness

Less common reactions to the Hib/MenC vaccine

Less common side effects are also generally mild and short-lived:

Rare reactions to the Hib/MenC vaccine

A skin rash is a rare side effect of the hib/MenC vaccine. If this happens, contact a doctor straight away.

Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) can also happen with the Hib/MenC vaccine, but they are extremely rare.

If a severe allergic reaction happens it will be within minutes of the baby having the vaccine and you will both still be at the clinic.

Healthcare staff who give vaccinations are trained to recognise and deal with severe allergic reactions. Babies recover completely with treatment.

If you are concerned about how your baby reacted to a previous dose of the 5-in-1 vaccine, talk to your GP, nurse or health visitor.

To find out more, read Vaccine safety and side effects.

What to do if your baby is unwell after the Hib/MenC vaccine

Common side effects:

If your baby develops a fever, keep them cool. Make sure they don't wear too many layers of clothes or blankets, and give them cool drinks.

You can also give them a dose of infant paracetamol or ibuprofen liquid according to the instructions on the bottle.

If you are still worried about your baby's reaction to the Hib/MenC vaccine, trust your instincts. Speak to your doctor or call NHS 111.

Serious side effects:

If your baby has a seizure, or any serious medical problem, once they're home after their vaccination, call your GP or an ambulance immediately. Seizures, in particular, can look very alarming, but babies usually recover from them quickly.

Read this NHS leaflet about the common side effects of vaccination that may occur in babies and young children (PDF, 118kb) and how to treat them.

Monitoring the safety of the Hib/MenC vaccine

In the UK, the safety of vaccines is routinely monitored through the Yellow Card Scheme.

Most reactions reported through the Yellow Card Scheme have been minor reactions such as rashes, fever, vomiting, or redness and swelling where the injection was given.

Find out how to report a vaccine side effect.

Page last reviewed: 13/03/2016
Next review due: 13/03/2019